Susan McCorkindale

Author. Editor. Autism Advocate.

Reel Life

1.24.14

Would you like the Sea Mercy experience?

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Volunteering on a floating health care clinic was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. If you think you might like to explore and expand your horizons while doing something really good for folks who aren’t as fortunate as we are, now’s the time! I received the following letter today from Richard Hackett, Founder and President of Sea Mercy, and thought I’d share it with all of you.

Hi Susan,

We have some great news for our Sea Mercy volunteers! Our goal has always been to find ways to lower our per volunteer rotation cost so that more people can enjoy the experience of serving on a Floating Health Care Clinic in the South Pacific. Thanks to our Sea Mercy Captains, our Island Nation Partners, and our Sponsors, we are able to lower the 2014 2-week rotation cost from $2,820 to $1,995.  It gets even better. With the Team Building program, you can lower it even further to only $1,435 per person.

Nothing has changed on the services that are provided on the 2014 Program Rotations, it is still “all-inclusive” and there are 31 different 2-week rotations in Tonga and Fiji that you can choose (from April to October). This is a “working vacation” where you will sail on a 45-65 foot catamaran to 5-7 of the remote islands of Fiji or Tonga, delivering free health care (medical, dental and eye care) to those who do not have access to such services. You will travel with two local Tongan/Fijian health care workers who will act as your liaison and translator and teach you about the history and culture of their island nation (don’t drink the Kava). You are invited to bring a spouse or family member along, but at least three of the “four minimum” rotation team members must be health care professionals.

Fundraising Assistance

If you find the above rates are still out of your budget, we have Volunteer Fundraising Pages available (click on the link for an example) that can help you either cover or offset your rotation costs.

How to Get Started

If you have not already done so, we suggest acting quickly to reserve your spot on any of the remaining upcoming rotations (go to the 2014 Assignment Request Form). You can register as an Individual volunteer, or register as a Team Leader* to reserve your rotation date(s) so that you can start building your own team of five or more and save!

* A Sea Mercy staff member will contact you and provide you with the marketing tools to help you build your team

We hope the above allows even more of you (and your co-workers) to join us this year in the South Pacific! Please call or email us with any questions.

Richard Hackett

President & Founder

Sea Mercy www.seamercy.org 

info@seamercy.org

541-935-5846

To follow Chris‘s adventures on the Sea Mercy ship, Dragon Fly, visit http://saildragonfly.wordpress.com!

 

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1.17.14

Turkeys and Iguanas and Scary Hair, Oh My!

When last I saw my handsome husband, he was off to a supermarket in Roatan to stock up on food, coffee, rum, toothpaste, sunblock, rum, fruit, granola, and, did I mention?, rum, in preparation for what became, I think, a three day sail with 50mph winds. I was off to catch a plane home, which is where I am now, although looking at these photos (and the those I posted previously), I really wish I’d stayed. A crazy windy, multi-day sail sounds scary, but not nearly as frightening as the mountain of laundry I returned to.

Speaking of frightening, here’s a pic of me and “Tom” at the Iguana farm. Yes, I realize I’m the bigger turkey. Just look at that hair.

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As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’m not just a turkey. I’m a chicken. See how far away I stayed from “Tom”? (Or maybe he was staying away from me and my Peter Frampton frizz.) Chris has no such fear and was more than happy to hold the Iguanas and have his picture taken with them.

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I don’t know if you can see the leaves below, but he fed them and they climbed all over themselves to get to the food. The thought of Iguanas swarming at my feet really freaked me out.

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Maybe it’s because of all the years I lived on a farm, but I’m much more comfortable with the cows. Wow, can you even believe I just said that? This guy’s a Brahma.

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I thought the pelican was pretty neat, too, though as you can see he was creeped out by my milky white legs and lovely “do.”

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My hair doesn’t look much better now, which may be why Tug is giving me the cold shoulder, but I don’t care. It makes me feel like I’m still away, sailing, exploring, and enjoying fruity drinks made with all that rum. It’s always nice to come home, but this time I think I returned a little too soon!

 

 

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1.12.14

Jacques Chris-teau

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As promised, above is a pic of Roatan. If I haven’t been clear as to exactly where we are, we’re in the Bay Islands in Honduras. It’s pretty, the people are lovely, and the folks we’re sailing with are a lot of fun.

But I’m still looking forward to coming home. Tomorrow. I miss my sons, my bed, warm showers, and my flat iron. Oh, and Tug. I miss Tug. And my nice quiet office where I can think as I write. I apologize for this post. I’m in a restaurant, there’s loud music, the Broncos game, and chatter.

So….yesterday Chris or, as I’ve taken to calling him, Jacques Chris-teau, went scuba diving.

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He enjoyed it so much, I got caught up in his excitement and agreed to take a Discover Scuba Diving class this morning. Thank God there are no photos of that. I made it through the training video (even got a 100 on my test!), and the “basics” class in the ocean, but my spectacular claustrophobia stopped me from going out on the big dive. My New Year’s resolution is to be more spontaneous and adventurous, but the starter stuff was enough for me today. Maybe I can take spontaneity one step at a time? Or maybe I’ll just learn to be happy being a Scuba School Drop-out.

Anyway, when Jacques Chris-teau was exploring the deep yesterday, he shot this cool pic of an eagle ray…

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and this one of a queen angel fish…

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and this one of Mr. Sea Turtle. So cute.

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Today we hit the Iguana Farm. We met a really nice taxi driver who took us over to French Harbor and helped us find the place. He even got us calaloo leaves to feed the creepily prehistoric-looking, but sweet, beasts. Of course when they saw the leaves, they charged us. I wish I was braver, but it was like being attacked by tiny dinosaurs and I took off for the hills. Chris hung in there though (the man is scared of nothing), and fed them and I got some really great pictures.  When we load them, I’ll share.

Gotta go. The noise in here is bruising my brain. Love ya’ll!

Susan

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1.11.14

Lovely Caskets Sold Here

Here we are in pretty, sunny, really hot Roatan, with its teal green, bathwater warm water, palm trees, bright pink and orange flowers, and two emerald green humming birds buzzing around while I write this. I’ll have to share pictures later as the husband has taken the camera on his first deep sea dive of the day. Sometimes I feel like I married Flipper. He and his fishing pole and spear come in handy, though. Yesterday he caught a gorgeous tuna, then he and Jill whipped it up Bonefish Grill style and served it for dinner. Fantastic.

Speaking of dinner, we’re all taking turns making it and the other night was Chris and my turn. I know, I know. My turn. Ha. Chris cooked (penne, pesto, chicken, huge dollops of Ricotta cheese mushed all around. Heaven.), I made the table look pretty and poured wine, and Don set his camera up on a ten second timer so he could get this picture of all of us.

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Quite the crew, no? Let me tell you, we can eat! It’s our turn again tonight, and Chris is, I mean, we are, making burgers and brats, and cornbread and salad. My role is to chill the wine, test it, and test it some more. Roger that!

Just to catch you up, we arrived in Roatan late yesterday. It took us two tries and, ultimately, twelve cold, rainy, choppy hours to go from Placencia to Utila, twelve hours I spent trying not to be sick and reading, reading, reading.  DSCN0223

Utila, as it turns out, is a pit. Stray dogs, poverty, the opportunity to at any moment be killed by a screaming ATV or moped or teeming garbage truck. It saddened me, made me grateful for my life, and frankly, I couldn’t wait to get out of there. We did happen upon some funny signs. One said “All Americans Must Be Accompanied By An Adult,” and the other, well, hopefully you can read it in the silly picture below.

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“Lovely Caskets Are Sold Here Also Cheaper Coffins All With Their Straps

I’m telling you, Utila is a deathtrap. But when you die, no worries. They’ve got big bargains on coffins. And please do get me one with all the straps.

We all felt the same way about Utila, so we sailed to Roatan yesterday afternoon. Like I said, it’s beautiful and I’ll happily show you photos once I steal the camera from Chris (who’s still out doing his Jacques Cousteau thing). I’ve been sitting with Jill and Don and Non-Paul for hours now at Cafe Escondido, so if you ever come to the Bay Islands, please pay them a visit. The sandwiches are delicious, the iced coffee refreshing, and the WiFi plentiful. They’re also really patient and don’t seem to care that we’ve been camped out here since sunrise.

Time to get up, take a stroll, a swim, and do a little  (more) sunbathing. I come home Monday, but I hope to write again tomorrow. I’m going to miss Roatan, my new friends on DragonFly, and my husband. Chris will stay with the boat until it reaches San Blas, Panama, but I need to return early.  Love you, handsome, for figuring out how I could come along for a few days. It hasn’t been easy – I’m an awful sailor and being seasick stinks – but it’s totally been worth it. What an experience.

Until tomorrow then!

 

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